Weelicious triumphs again!
To minimize mess, I generally buy & cook the short pastas, so when I told The Munchkin we were having “slurpy spaghetti” for dinner, she practically leaped for joy. The many different veggies in this dish are julienned just like the pasta, so she slurped them up just like the noodles. & get this: she was happy about it! She ate them on purpose! “Look, mommy, I’m slurping asparagus!” This, coming from the toddler who enjoys carrots, but will hardly touch zucchini or asparagus. The bowl was polished off. Success!
- 2 zucchini
- 2 carrots, peeled
- 6 asparagus spears, woody ends snapped off
- 1 small red bell pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (original recipe calls for only 1, but it needs more)
- 1 lb. whole-wheat spaghetti (or, if you don’t have a food processor to julienne your veggies & your knife skills are as atrocious as mine, linguine covers a multitude of sins)
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1/3 cup Parmesan
- Julienne your vegetables with a knife or the shredding blade of a food processor.
- Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a saute pan over medium heat.
- Saute garlic 1 minute.
- Add veggies & salt & saute an additional 3-4 minutes or until softened.
- Drain pasta, reserving 1/3 cup of the pasta water.
- Return pasta to pot or place in a large serving bowl. Add veggies, pasta water, butter, & Parmesan; toss to coat.
- Let your Munchkins pretend to be baby birds slurping up worms!
For the many of us who have resolved to treat our bodies a little better this year, here are some healthy recipes from the past year. (I can’t believe this blog is already almost a year old!)
More new recipes to come, promise!
I’m making these Chewy, Chunky (& Lowfat!) Oatmeal Bars for us to snack on as we walk around Disney World this weekend. They’re so hearty & delicious (we all love them), it’s hard to believe they’re so low in fat!
Start the day off right with yummy Oatmeal Raisin Pancakes. You just might want to skip the butter syrup.
Now, a couple vegetarian dinners: Pasta with Arugula & Tomatoes…
…& Skinny Veggie Ziti.
If your Munchkins are joining you in your resolution, help them get some more veggies with some Veggie Latkes. (I can’t believe how young The Munchkin looks in this picture!)
Then finish it off right with the almost entirely nonfat Skinny Banana Bread for dessert!
Best of luck keeping your resolutions — health & otherwise — this year!
I’ve posted a couple other recipes for ripe bananas, but this was the first. Meaning it preceded all other banana recipes. This has been my go-to staple for years, ever since my Aunt Becky (the one whose Christmas letter inspired my Painted Easter Cookies) gave me her ward’s cookbook as a wedding present. I’ve professed my love for ward cookbooks in the past, mainly for the reason that I know that the people submitting them have actually made them themselves, in a real kitchen, with small children underfoot. But even knowing that, I could never get banana bread right! With every new recipe I tried, it would always be charred on the outside before it was done on the inside. This was the first to be edible — indeed, tasty – so I’ve stuck with it the last five years. This time I decided to mix things up a little bit & add whole-wheat flour (to make it healthier) & chocolate chips (to counteract any undue healthiness).
- 1 3/4 cup white/wheat flour blend (I just mixed together 1 cup all-purpose & 3/4 cup whole-wheat, but you could even use just all-purpose, since that’s what the original recipe, you know, asks for…), divided
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2-3 ripe bananas, mashed (Get your kids to do this! They’ll love you for it!)
- 1/3 cup margarine, or butter-flavored shortening (I very rarely use anything but real butter in my cooking, so when I do, it’s for good reason.)
- 2 Tbsp. milk (skim is fine)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup plus a little (okay, more than a little) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 & grease an 8x4x2 loaf pan.
- In bowl of electric mixer, combine 1 cup flour with sugar, baking powder, baking soda, & salt.
- Add mashed banana, margarine, & milk. Beat on low speed until blended; scrape sides of bowl.
- Beat on high for 2 minutes & scrape sides of bowl.
- Add eggs & remaining flour; beat just until incorporated. Mix in chocolate chips.
- Bake 53-70 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out with only a few moist crumbs.
- Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan & cool completely before slicing. (Oh, who are we kidding here? Just make sure you use a sharp enough serrated knife & you’re golden.)
I recently overcame the denial brought on by 15 months of nursing & came to the realization — only 6 months late — that I actually do need to watch what I’m eating. There are only so many ways to explain away the tightness of one’s jeans… “They just came out of the dryer; they’ll stretch back out.” (Putting them on again 2 mornings later…) “Crap.”
So I’ve been cutting calories, limiting treats, & finding ways to lighten up or “healthify” foods that I enjoy. I also went out & bought my first-ever bag of whole-wheat flour. Gasp! I know.
I had some bananas mottling on the counter (you may have seen them in the background of pictures of my daughter giddily sloshing Rice Krispies from here to Shanghai — that was for you, Karen!), so I decided my “maiden” whole-wheat substitution recipe would be Skinny Banana Bread from Paper Crafts Gourmet, a cookbook with accompanying craft projects (parties, cards, wrapping ideas, etc.) that my aunt-in-law (is that a thing?) & neighbor found at our local A.C. Moore for 5 bucks. Bargain!
It’s almost entirely fat-free, but thanks to the heartiness of the whole wheat it tastes substantial & fills you up! It’s also moist, & yes, tasty! Though mine would’ve been more flavorful if I’d had all 3 bananas they called for; I only had 2 1/3.
- 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
- 3/4 cup white flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg (in banana bread? I was a little skeptical too, but it totally worked, & it made my house smell amazing while it was baking!)
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 large egg
- 3 ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/2 cup applesauce (1/3 cup if you have large bananas)
- 1/3 cup walnuts (optional — I used them for the added protein)
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease a loaf pan with cooking spray.
- Mix dry ingredients & wet ingredients in separate bowls.
- Combine, mixing just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in nuts, if desired.
- Pour into prepared pan & bake 55 minutes or until knife comes out clean.